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Author Topic: LOTW  (Read 73131 times)
AF3Y
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Posts: 3882




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« on: November 05, 2012, 03:51:51 PM »

Down AGAIN?  Angry

I guess every Monday after a contest, LOTW is not working?

Sounds like a pisspoor way to run an operation.

73, Gene AF3Y
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NU1O
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Posts: 2762




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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 04:07:25 PM »

Down AGAIN?  Angry

I guess every Monday after a contest, LOTW is not working?

Sounds like a pisspoor way to run an operation.

73, Gene AF3Y

I have a charge on this month's AMEX statement for about $150 for LoTW credits, some certificates and endorsements.  I'm sure many of you have spent similar amounts. We should at the very least have a system which is quick, reliable, and user-friendly.  The current LoTW system is anything but user-friendly.  Many overseas stations tell me it is much too complicated.  Even Stateside stations say the same thing. We have about 53,000 users worldwide. I think it would be 5 times that if it was more user-friendly.

73,

Chris/NU1O
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K2QB
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Posts: 112




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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 06:43:12 AM »

Complicated??? How complicated is it...I click one button to upload my QSO's to LoTW and one button to download them.. Then I sit back and look at the confirmations. People who complain it is too complicated in my opinion are really saying I am too lazy to learn anything new. And yes, after a contest maybe it does take a few days for the system to catch up. Let's see thousands of logs being uploaded with thousands upon thousands of QSO's. And if it takes two or three days for your confirmations to show up...so what? They eventually do. As far as the $150 charge.....what would it have cost to mail all those out? Envelopes, stamps, cards, time, cost of the award....sorry I've been chasing DX for over 40 years so I'm not a newbie by any means and LoTW is one of the best things ever to come along.
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NK7Z
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Posts: 880


WWW

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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 07:03:12 AM »

I've been chasing DX for over 40 years so I'm not a newbie by any means and LoTW is one of the best things ever to come along.
I wholeheartedly agree...  LOTW has saved me thousands in QSL card fees over the years...  Yes it takes a few days, but wow...  I remember the old days when it might take a YEAR to get a single card.  That and the price is right, free...  Use eQSL to do the awards that they support, and you can save a lot of cash...  My WPX cost me something less than 20 bucks, (at most, using eQSL).  If you are uncomfortable with the fees, then don't chase the award...
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 07:07:02 AM by NK7Z » Logged

Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
K3STX
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Posts: 1081




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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 07:28:40 AM »

Complicated??? How complicated is it...I click one button to upload my QSO's to LoTW and one button to download them..

I love LOTW as much as anyone, but for MOST of us who do NOT use computer logging programs it is not a simple push of a button. From a contest logger like N1MM I have to generate an ADIF file, save it on my desktop, then open TQSL, open the ADIF file, LOG IN with my password, and then a .tq8 file is created and saved on my desktop. Then go to the ARRL website, log into LOTW, and upload my .tq8 file.

Certainly not impossible, but certainly not one click. Maybe for people who keep computer logs with some program that automatically links to LOTW, but I don't know about computer logging programs.

Still, I have a cheat sheet telling me what to do, it takes only 5 minutes a few times a year. The money I have saved in stamps for 5BDXCC, WOW!!

paul
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NI0C
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Posts: 2437




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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 07:48:14 AM »

K3STX wrote:
Quote
From a contest logger like N1MM I have to generate an ADIF file, save it on my desktop, then open TQSL, open the ADIF file, LOG IN with my password, and then a .tq8 file is created and saved on my desktop. Then go to the ARRL website, log into LOTW, and upload my .tq8 file.

Certainly not impossible, but certainly not one click. Maybe for people who keep computer logs with some program that automatically links to LOTW, but I don't know about computer logging programs.

It's incredibly easy to setup the free DXLab DXKeeper program to do all this for you, so you can upload a file or an individual QSO to LoTW with a couple of mouse clicks.

73,
Chuck  NI0C
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NK7Z
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Posts: 880


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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2012, 08:03:26 AM »

Complicated??? How complicated is it...I click one button to upload my QSO's to LoTW and one button to download them..

I love LOTW as much as anyone, but for MOST of us who do NOT use computer logging programs it is not a simple push of a button. From a contest logger like N1MM

Hi Paul,
But you are using a computer logging program...  N1MM is a "Contest Logger" as per their site...  The fault lies with N1MM, not LOTW.  LOTW has provided an API, (Applications Programmers Interface), to the community; this is a standardized way of letting programs, (or Apps), talk to the LOTW servers.  Of course LOTW needs to be running for it to work, which it is not as of this moment.  N1MM must not be using the APIs...  N1MM is supported enough that I would expect someone to add it soon...  There is a feature request link on their page.  You should request a direct upload to LOTW.  The N1MM team is a great set of guys, and they are very responsive to user needs.  

I use N3FJP's logging software, and MixW in tandem.  During a contest, I use MixW, and after the contest I import the log into N3FJP's logging software.  If interested, I have an extensive review of N3FJP's Amateur Contact Log, at: http://nk7z.net/review-of-amateur-contact-log-3-0/ with screenshots etc.  Also, a review of MixW at: http://nk7z.net/review-of-mixw-multimode-software/  As well as many other reviews etc. on site...
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 08:06:33 AM by NK7Z » Logged

Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
K3STX
Member

Posts: 1081




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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 08:31:28 AM »

The "problem" is not N1MM, the problem is me. I do not WANT to use a computer logging program for everyday use. I only use the computer for the 4-6 contests/year I operate in. I like my paper logs.

Having said all this, I still think LOTW is great and the slight hassle is offset 1000-fold by the convenience of confirmations with no cards. Now for 5BWAZ credits to count , THAT will be great.

Paul
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NK7Z
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 09:26:57 AM »

The "problem" is not N1MM, the problem is me. I do not WANT to use a computer logging program for everyday use. I only use the computer for the 4-6 contests/year I operate in. I like my paper logs.


Hi again Paul,

It took me a year or more to embrace an electronic log...  Once done though I am a much happier person for it...  Hopefully N1MM will add direct upload to LOTW soon.  That program has an amazing amount of support. 

Gud DX!
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
NU1O
Member

Posts: 2762




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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 10:01:59 AM »

Complicated??? How complicated is it...I click one button to upload my QSO's to LoTW and one button to download them.. Then I sit back and look at the confirmations. People who complain it is too complicated in my opinion are really saying I am too lazy to learn anything new. And yes, after a contest maybe it does take a few days for the system to catch up. Let's see thousands of logs being uploaded with thousands upon thousands of QSO's. And if it takes two or three days for your confirmations to show up...so what? They eventually do. As far as the $150 charge.....what would it have cost to mail all those out? Envelopes, stamps, cards, time, cost of the award....sorry I've been chasing DX for over 40 years so I'm not a newbie by any means and LoTW is one of the best things ever to come along.

I have a problem with N3FJP's AC Log interfacing with LoTW which nobody in the support forum has been able to solve so I must use the work-around of saving my log, using TQSL to create a T-8 file and then going to the ARRL site to upload my file. One day I will call the ARRL for help since the guys who write these logging problem have enough on their table fixing their own bugs w/o worrying about LoTW problems.  It was much easier when it was all streamlined into the program, however.  You are correct, though, it was hitting just one button.

As for the cost savings, you are inflating them by assuming I'd have sent out a QSL for every LoTW confirmation.  I have 4,500 LoTW confirmations but I never would've sent QSL cards out for each and every LoTW confirmation and neither would most of you.  For example, how many times do I need Germany or Italy confirmed on 10 meter phone?  I probably have a couple hundred LoTW confirmations for each of those countries while one QSL card would suffice per band/mode.  If I were to estimate I'd guess I would have sent out about 200 to 300 cards but certainly not the 4,500 I now have via LoTW. There is a savings but it is not $2 for each LoTW confirmation.

Please don't misunderstand, I really like LoTW and I think it is a wonderful innovation.  I'm just passing on what many foreign and US hams have told me and describing my own problem with LoTW.  

73,

Chris/NU1O
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NK7Z
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Posts: 880


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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 10:06:54 AM »


I have a problem with N3FJP's AC Log interfacing with LoTW which nobody in the support forum has been able to solve so I must use the work-around of saving my log, using TQSL to create a T-8 file and then going to the ARRL site to upload my file.

Chris,

Can you expand on the issue you are having...  I had one as well, just like that.  Write me off list, as this is now a support question...  There may be a fix.
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
W5DQ
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Posts: 1209


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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2012, 10:14:59 AM »

The "problem" is not N1MM, the problem is me. I do not WANT to use a computer logging program for everyday use. I only use the computer for the 4-6 contests/year I operate in. I like my paper logs.

Having said all this, I still think LOTW is great and the slight hassle is offset 1000-fold by the convenience of confirmations with no cards. Now for 5BWAZ credits to count , THAT will be great.

Paul

Good morning Paul,

Not to belittle your choice of paper logs but if (or when) you get a stack of QSLcards, say 100+ in a single pkg, from the buro to update confirmations for in your paper logs and return QSL cards to, how long does that take you to do. If it was one or two then I would say it is a moot point. But if you were to receive buro cards like I do (and many of the hams I handle cards for a W6 Incoming DX QSL buro volunteer) at the rate of 50-200+ per quarter, I would think you would find that employing an electronic logbook would greatly simplify your logging and return QSL efforts. I can update my log and print a return QSL card label for each QSL in just a matter of a couple of seconds each and once I am done, the stack of QSL cards go back into the box to be shipped out in the next shipment (usually 3 to 4 times a year).

I too keep a binder with printed pages of my electronic logbook for that 'if all else fails' moment (along with seperate electronic backups of the log data files stored apart in case of fire, etc.) but I find having the ability to 'near instantly' being able to find a QSO or group of QSOs indespensible in my ham activities.

I think you might find that you would like electronic logging if you were to give it a whirl if you haven't before. Run an electronic logbook along side of your paper one for a while and see if you don't start leaning more towards the electronic one. Just some personal observations.

Either way, have fun and good luck in your DXing and QSLing.

Gene W5DQ

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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
M0TTB
Member

Posts: 256




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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2012, 10:24:34 AM »

Hopefully the LoTW issue isn't as bad as some are saying.
http://dx-world.net/2012/lotw-lost-data/
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Andy
London'ish
K3STX
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Posts: 1081




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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2012, 10:48:58 AM »

But if you were to receive buro cards like I do (and many of the hams I handle cards for a W6 Incoming DX QSL buro volunteer) at the rate of 50-200+ per quarter, I would think you would find that employing an electronic logbook would greatly simplify your logging and return QSL efforts.

Yep, and I go back through maybe 4 logbooks each time I get the package. It does indeed take time, but I think that is part of the fun, rummaging through my ARRL logbooks to check off the QSL RCVD box and hand-write a card to check off the QSL SENT box! I guess I am too old fashioned. I don't like the idea of booting-up a computer simply to listen on my radio and maybe call a station or two.

This is my deficiency, not LOTW!!! For new 5BDXCC fills I simply enter them in N1MM "DX" contest file, edit the dates, and send them in. My T6MO QSO was confirmed in less than 24 hr on LOTW that way.

p
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N3QE
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Posts: 2432




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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2012, 11:09:35 AM »

I understand your desire to be "a guy with a radio" and not "a guy with a radio and a computer for logging".

I operated a few contests during power outages. Radio and a few vital accessories (including a small 12V LED lamp) run off solar charged batteries. Computer is not a vital accessory.

After each such incident... the big hassle was not LOTW. The big hassle was typing the QSO's into the computer after power came back. Doing this with N1MM or ARRL's TrustedQSL program is possible but very very awkward. So many mouse clicks... so many places where the right number has to be typed into the correct field (but not into the wrong field!). I found that some of the WA7BNM web-to-cabrillo forms were far superior to the drudgery of N1MM or TrustedQSL for making a cabrillo file, that I then imported and re-exported as ADI, which I then ran through TrustedQSL and

For me the computer conversions are fairly painless. The boring drudgery is the point-and-drool user interfaces of many of the loggers for converting a paper log. A free text window for typing works great for me.

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